Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or even YouTube have changed immensely ever since their creation. They were made primarily for communication purposes. However, today these social media channels are being used vividly for business purposes, especially marketing. B2C companies were the first to incorporate social media platforms in their list of marketing tools.
On the other hand, even today B2B companies cannot completely rely on social media marketing. There is a simple reason behind this. B2B companies cannot directly quantify the efficiency of social media marketing, whereas B2C companies can directly validate the performance of this type of marketing.
Social media has evolved into a virtual marketplace. Social media platforms have millions of online visitors every day. B2B and B2C companies make use of these channels to expose their brand to a massive crowd. Businesses today can either put themselves out there or generate more traffic for their own websites through social networking sites.
There are some major differences between B2C and B2B social media marketing. There are three main differences when it comes to marketing on the social media for these two types of companies.
Social Media Channels
Social media caters to every need these days; it is not just used for communication anymore. Social media can be categorized today. A group of social networking sites cater to fulfilling a specific need or media, for example, Sound Cloud or Spotify are for music lovers whereas YouTube is for people who love to watch videos. Every type of business has a specific niche to satisfy. Similarly, B2B and B2C businesses use different social media channels to get through to their audience.B2C businesses need to interact directly with their consumers. Hence, their choice of social media sites include:
Facebook: Facebook is currently the most prominent social networking site. It is a great market for businesses to introduce their products. It is a great place for a B2C business to promote and gain exposure. These businesses can engage people in interactive posts and spread knowledge.
Twitter: Twitter is an open social networking site. It is a great channel for engagement and promotion. The use of a catchy hashtag can instantly make a business well-known overnight. Yes, Twitter is that powerful when it comes to engaging people.
YouTube: YouTube is a website which houses only video content. B2C businesses can take advantage of this website since a video is more interactive than an image. Creating a fun but professional and polished video should be on the to-do list of a flourishing B2C business.
Instagram: Today, photos can speak a thousand words. Businesses should take up this opportunity. Instagram is the perfect site to build a brand image. Creative photos can help the business to interact directly with its consumers.
On the other hand, B2B social media marketing does comprise of all the social networking sites mentioned above, but it mainly depends on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. LinkedIn allows discussion groups which can be used for content distribution and engagement. However, B2B businesses should be careful while promoting themselves on these sites, since businesses tend to overdo it sometimes.
In today’s world, social media content does not have to be limited to just words or a few sentences. Content can be a sound clip or even an interactive video. Even comments and messages sent via social networking sites can be considered to be content. It is important to remember one thing when it comes to creating content for marketing, which is that a business should not try to be exceedingly promotional. Consumers are more interested in knowing about things which are beneficial to them rather than information which promotes a business. Therefore, by creating content which provides value to the consumers, a business can climb the ladder of success in social media websites.
A B2C business directly sells to final consumers. Hence, they should heavily rely on blog posts, which are informal and casual. Businesses focus on producing content which is more shareable, and blog posts become viral when people click on that small share button. This button can make a big difference since it can expose a single post to millions of viewers. Moreover, this type of business can interact directly with its consumers through the use of videos and pictures. Visuals are usually more fun to look at compared to plain words. Messages and comments are also forms of content. In case of B2C businesses, content should be spontaneous; it can include humor. However, businesses should keep a close eye to the recipients of the messages, since a lot of times they can divert to anew set of target audience.
A B2B social media content is mainly used for generating leads. B2B social media marketing includes professional and well-written content as opposed to casual content by B2C businesses. These businesses can depend on different types of content which include:
White papers: Since lead generation is the main goal of a B2B business, white papers can serve B2B businesses efficiently. White papers can dictate a lot of labor hours. However, the extensive amount of information it provides to the reader is enough to persuade people to give up personal details to gain access. As a result, the amount of man hours spent on white papers is totally worth it in the end.
Case studies: Case studies can convince consumers of the effectiveness of a B2B business. It is one of the most effective tools for lead generation, as it provides evidence of a business’s efficiency. It can also easily build credibility for a B2B brand.
Infographics: Infographics seem more appropriate for a B2C company. Infographics can also be used by a B2B business to showcase its internal data in graphical form. It can grab attention in social media and be highly beneficial when used as a B2B social media marketing tool
One pagers: it has been said that marketing is directly linked to sales. Sometimes it is quite difficult for businesses to identify how their marketing is affecting their actual sales. The use of one pagers in social media marketing can boost up the image of a business’s product. It provides a brief idea about the benefits which the consumer will receive. One pagers are usually more effective when it looks pleasant. The best way to make a simple and neat one pagers is to use bullet points instead of lengthy paragraphs.
Webinars: For B2B social media marketing, webinars are successful tactics. A webinar content marketing usually comprises of different types of media, and thus it is the most immersive content ever.
The main objective behind the use of social media marketing
What are the goals and metrics of a B2B and B2C business? The two types of business cater to two completely different target markets. Hence, it is evident that these businesses will have a completely different set of goals.
The main objective of a B2C business is to create social awareness about its existence or its products. The purpose behind its social media marketing is to engage people and to create awareness. It focuses mostly on making its content go viral.
In contrast, the use of B2B social mediamarketing is to generate leads. B2B businesses cannot measure the impact of social media marketing, hence, it heavily relies on the traffic directed towards its website to judge efficiency.